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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Geographic - All Periods| ▸ |Persia & Mesopotamia||View Options:  |  |  |   

Ancient Coins of Persia and Mesopotamia

Also included on this page are coins minted under Persian rule in other regions of the Persian Empire.

Seleukid Kingdom, Seleukos I Nikator, 312 - 281 B.C., Babylonia, In the Name of Alexander the Great

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Seleukos| |I| |Nikator,| |312| |-| |281| |B.C.,| |Babylonia,| |In| |the| |Name| |of| |Alexander| |the| |Great|, |tetradrachm|
Price dates this type 311 - 305 B.C. Houghton dates it 311 - 300 B.C. Houghton notes that Kritt down-dated the chronology due to the complexity of the emissions and that two hoards independently support the revised dating.
GS91298. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber I 82(3)e, Price 3761b (same rev. die), SNG Munchen 796 (same), Müller Alexander 748, HGC 9 10f, SNG Cop -, SNG Alpha Bank -, gVF, well centered, bold strike with high relief dies, speckled toning, tiny edge splits, weight 16.865 g, maximum diameter 25.9 mm, die axis 30o, Mesopotamia, Babylon (Hillah, Iraq) mint, 311 - 300 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress forelegs tied at neck; reverse Zeus Aëtophoros enthroned left, nude to waist, himation around hips and legs, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, right leg drawn back, MI over rudder left, MYPT monogram (no pellet in P) in wreath below throne, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on right, BAΣIΛEΩΣ (king) in exergue; $315.00 SALE |PRICE| $284.00
 


Macedonian Kingdom, Antigonos I Monophthalmos, Strategos of Asia, 320 - 306 B.C., In the Name and Types of Alexander

|Alexander| |the| |Great|, |Macedonian| |Kingdom,| |Antigonos| |I| |Monophthalmos,| |Strategos| |of| |Asia,| |320| |-| |306| |B.C.,| |In| |the| |Name| |and| |Types| |of| |Alexander|, |tetradrachm|
Antigonos I Monophthalmos ("the One-eyed") was a nobleman and strategos (general and governor) under Alexander the Great. Upon Alexander's death in 323 B.C., he established himself as one of the successors and declared himself King in 306 B.C. The most powerful satraps of the empire, Cassander, Seleucus, Ptolemy, and Lysimachus, answered by also proclaiming themselves kings. Antigonus found himself at war with all four, largely because his territory shared borders with all of them. He died in battle at Ipsus in 301 B.C. Antigonus' kingdom was divided up, with Seleucus I Nicator gaining the most. His son, Demetrius I Poliorcetes, took Macedon, which the family held, off and on, until it was conquered by Rome in 168 B.C.
GS91301. Silver tetradrachm, In the name of Alexander; Price 3726, Müller Alexander 728, SNG Cop 840, SNG Alpha Bank -, SNG Munchen -, VF, struck with attractive style sculptural high-relief dies, centered on a tight flan, uneven toning, bumps, light scrapes, weight 16.808 g, maximum diameter 26.7 mm, die axis 180o, Mesopotamia, Babylon (Hillah, Iraq) mint, under the satrap Peithon, 315 - 311 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress, forelegs tied at neck; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on right, BAΣIΛEΩΣ in exergue, Zeus seated left on high backed throne, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, right leg drawn back, feet on footstool, eagle in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, (AX monogram) left, MYHP monogram in wreath (no pellet in the P) under throne; $310.00 SALE |PRICE| $279.00
 


Macedonian Kingdom, Philip III Arrhidaeus and Alexander IV, 323 - 317 B.C.

|Macedonian| |Kingdom|, |Macedonian| |Kingdom,| |Philip| |III| |Arrhidaeus| |and| |Alexander| |IV,| |323| |-| |317| |B.C.|, |tetradrachm|
Struck in the name of King Philip III Arrhidaeus, Alexander the Great's half-brother, under the regent Perdikkas. Philip III and Alexander's infant son, Alexander IV, were made joint kings after Alexander's death. Philip was the bastard son of Philip II and a dancer, Philinna of Larissa. Alexander the Great's mother, Olympias, allegedly poisoned her stepson Philip III as a child, leaving him mentally disabled, eliminating him as a rival to Alexander. Neither Philip III nor Alexander IV was capable of actual rule and both were selected only to serve as pawns. The regents held power, while Philip III was actually imprisoned. In 317, Philip was murdered by Olympias to ensure the succession of her grandson.
GS87632. Silver tetradrachm, Price P182, Müller Alexander P103, Demanhur 4601, SNG Munchen 969, SNG Cop 1077, SNG Saroglos –, VF, high relief, centered on a tight flan, rose toning, scratches and marks, some porosity, weight 16.902 g, maximum diameter 26.9 mm, die axis 270o, Mesopotamia, Babylon (Hillah, Iraq) mint, c. 323 - 317 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean lion scalp headdress, forelegs tied at neck; reverse Zeus seated left on throne, feet on footstool, right leg drawn back, eagle in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, ΦIΛIΠΠOY downward on right, BAΣIΛEΩΣ (king) in exergue (off flan), M left, B under seat above strut; struck under Archon, Dokimos, or Seleukos I; $230.00 SALE |PRICE| $207.00
 


Marcus Aurelius, 7 March 161 - 17 March 180 A.D., Carrhae, Mesopotamia

|Mesopotamia| |&| |Babylonia|, |Marcus| |Aurelius,| |7| |March| |161| |-| |17| |March| |180| |A.D.,| |Carrhae,| |Mesopotamia|, |AE| |20|
This coin may refer to an eclipse at Carrhae on 4 September 164. Carrhae is the Haran of the Bible. Crassus was defeated and killed by the Parthians near Carrhae in 53 B.C. Emperor Galerius was defeated on the same site in 296 A.D.
RP92089. Bronze AE 20, RIC IV-3 Online T8037 (2 spec.), BMC Arabia -, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, aF, earthen encrustations, scratches, weight 6.171 g, maximum diameter 21.9 mm, die axis 0o, Carrhae (Altinbasak, Turkey) mint, 164 - 169 A.D.; obverse AYT KAI[...], laureate head left; reverse KARHNWN ΦIΛOPWMEW, crescent horns upward, resting on a globe with fillets hanging from each side, star with six points above between the horns; ex Gerhard Rohde (9 Feb 2010); extremely rare; $180.00 SALE |PRICE| $152.00
 


Parthian Empire, Orodes II, 57 - 38 B.C.

|Parthian| |Empire|, |Parthian| |Empire,| |Orodes| |II,| |57| |-| |38| |B.C.|, |drachm|
The severed head of the Roman general Crassus was presented to Orodes II during a performance of Euripides' tragedy, The Bacchae. It was used as a prop, carried by one of the actors in the play. In Rome it was said the Parthians poured molten gold into his mouth as a symbol of his thirst for wealth.
GS89569. Silver drachm, Sellwood 47.5, Shore 239, Sunrise -, VF, toned, nice portrait, reverse off center, weight 3.935 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 0o, Ecbatana (Hamedan, Iran) mint, obverse diademed and draped bust left with short beard, top of head flat, torque ending with pellet, no wart, wavy hair covering ear, star upper left, crescent horns up upper right; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ / BAΣIΛEΩN − APΣAKOY − EYEPΓET / ∆IKAIOY − EΠIΦANOYΣ / ΦIΛEΛΛHNOΣ squared legend around, beardless archer (Arsakes I) seated right on throne, wearing bashlyk and cloak, bow in extended right hand, K (mintmark) below bow, squared seven-line legend around; ex Ancient Imports (Marc Breitsprecher); ex Michigan State Numismatic Society Auction (Nov 1998), part of the Parthian Collection lot; $125.00 SALE |PRICE| $113.00
 


Kingdom of Edessa, Mesopotamia, Abgar X with Gordian III, 242 - 243 A.D.

|Mesopotamia| |&| |Babylonia|, |Kingdom| |of| |Edessa,| |Mesopotamia,| |Abgar| |X| |with| |Gordian| |III,| |242| |-| |243| |A.D.|, |AE| |24|
Abgar X Frahad bar Manu was raised to the throne when Gordian III recovered Mesopotamia from the Persians. His rule and the Kingdom of Edessa both ended with Gordian's assassination and a Sassanid takeover in 244 A.D.
GB88990. Bronze AE 24, BMC Arabia p. 115, 148; Babelon Edessa 97; cf. SNG Cop 225 (draped and cuirassed), SNG Hunterian 2579 (same), aVF, dark patina with red earthen highlighting, tight flan, porous, weight 9.952 g, maximum diameter 23.2 mm, die axis 0o, Mesopotamia, Edessa (Urfa, Sanliurfa, Turkey) mint, 242 - 243 A.D.; obverse AYTOK K M ANT ΓOP∆IANOC CEB, laureate bust of Gordian III right, slight drapery on left shoulder, star lower right; reverse ABΓAPOC BACIΛEYC, draped bust of Abgar right, bearded, wearing a diademed Parthian-style tiara, star behind; ex Dmitry Markov Coins & Medals; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $81.00
 


Kingdom of Persis, Nambed (Namopat), 1st Century A.D.

|Kingdom| |of| |Persis|, |Kingdom| |of| |Persis,| |Nambed| |(Namopat),| |1st| |Century| |A.D.|, |hemidrachm|
Persis was located in what is now southern Iran. "Persians" settled the area as early as the 8th century B.C. From the time after its conquest by Alexander the Great, Persis was most often quasi-independent, under the hegemony of a Seleukid or Parthian king. Immediately following Alexander's death, Persis was subject to the Seleucid Kingdom. About 290 B.C., Persis regained independence. The coins produced during this period were Greek-inspired, but inscriptions were Aramaic, symbolic of Persis' rejection of the Greek ruling class. Sometime between c. 250 and 223 B.C., the Seleucids regained control. Mithradates II later incorporated Persis as a sub-kingdom of Parthia. Under Parthian domination, the coins and appearance of the kings depicted on them assumed the Parthian style. The last King of Persis, Artaxerxes, defeated the Parthians and founded the Sassanian Empire.
GS89568. Silver hemidrachm, cf. Alram IP 601; Sunrise 625; BMC Arabia p. 226, 6; Tyler-Smith -, VF, toned, a little rough, weight 1.119 g, maximum diameter 15.2 mm, die axis 180o, Persepolis (Fars Province, Iran) mint, 1st century A.D.; obverse bearded bust left, wearing Persepolitan crown with stepped battlements, diadem, torque and robe; reverse king standing right, holding scepter, before him, star and crescent with horns left, blundered inscription around; ex Ancient Imports (Marc Breitsprecher); $60.00 SALE |PRICE| $54.00
 


Kingdom of Persis, Second Unknown King, 1st Century A.D.

|Kingdom| |of| |Persis|, |Kingdom| |of| |Persis,| |Second| |Unknown| |King,| |1st| |Century| |A.D.|, |hemidrachm|
Persis was located in what is now southern Iran. "Persians" settled the area as early as the 8th century B.C. From the time after its conquest by Alexander the Great, Persis was most often quasi-independent, under the hegemony of a Seleukid or Parthian king. Immediately following Alexander's death, Persis was subject to the Seleucid Kingdom. About 290 B.C., Persis regained independence. The coins produced during this period were Greek-inspired, but inscriptions were Aramaic, symbolic of Persis' rejection of the Greek ruling class. Sometime between c. 250 and 223 B.C., the Seleucids regained control. Mithradates II later incorporated Persis as a sub-kingdom of Parthia. Under Parthian domination, the coins and appearance of the kings depicted on them assumed the Parthian style. The last King of Persis, Artaxerxes, defeated the Parthians and founded the Sassanian Empire.
GS63311. Silver hemidrachm, Alram IP 621; BMC Arabia p. 227, 11; cf. Sunrise 650 (obol), VF, thick dark patina, earthen encrustations, weight 1.492 g, maximum diameter 13.89 mm, die axis 0o, Persepolis (Fars Province, Iran) mint, End of 1st Century A.D.; obverse bearded, draped bust left, wavy thick hair, wearing crown with stepped battlements and diadem; reverse diadem, two ties laid across center; $55.00 SALE |PRICE| $49.50
 


Kingdom of Persis, Second Unknown King, AR Hemidrachm, 1st Century A.D.

|Kingdom| |of| |Persis|, |Kingdom| |of| |Persis,| |Second| |Unknown| |King,| |AR| |Hemidrachm,| |1st| |Century| |A.D.|, |hemidrachm|
Persis was located in what is now southern Iran. "Persians" settled the area as early as the 8th century B.C. From the time after its conquest by Alexander the Great, Persis was most often quasi-independent, under the hegemony of a Seleukid or Parthian king. Immediately following Alexander's death, Persis was subject to the Seleucid Kingdom. About 290 B.C., Persis regained independence. The coins produced during this period were Greek-inspired, but inscriptions were Aramaic, symbolic of Persis' rejection of the Greek ruling class. Sometime between c. 250 and 223 B.C., the Seleucids regained control. Mithradates II later incorporated Persis as a sub-kingdom of Parthia. Under Parthian domination, the coins and appearance of the kings depicted on them assumed the Parthian style. The last King of Persis, Artaxerxes, defeated the Parthians and founded the Sassanian Empire.
GS63312. Silver hemidrachm, BMC Arabia, 237, 6; cf. Sunrise 646 (pellet in crescent); Alram IP 619 (same), VF, tight flan, earthen deposits, weight 1.265 g, maximum diameter 12.7 mm, die axis 180o, Persepolis (Fars Province, Iran) mint, 1st Century A.D.; obverse bearded bust left, wearing diadem and Parthian-style tiara with 2 rows of pellets enclosing cross above and within crescent with horns upward; reverse diadem, two ties laid across center, illiterate imitation of a legend around; $55.00 SALE |PRICE| $49.50
 


Parthian Kingdom, Orodes II, 57 - 38 B.C.

|Parthian| |Empire|, |Parthian| |Kingdom,| |Orodes| |II,| |57| |-| |38| |B.C.|, |dichalkon|
Orodes II and his brother Mithradates III murdered their father. Orodes II became king of Parthia. At first he made Mithridates king of Media but then deposed him. Mithridates was forced flee to Roman Syria but returned, and made himself king of Parthia. Forces of Orodes II besieged Mithridates III in Seleucia. Mithridates was defeated, captured and executed.
GB91028. Bronze dichalkon, Sellwood 47.37, Shore 519, Sunrise -, aVF, tight flan, reverse center weak, most of reverse legend off flan as usual for the type, weight 1.843 g, maximum diameter 12.6 mm, die axis 0o, Ecbatana (Hamedan, Iran) mint, 57 - 38 B.C.; obverse diademed bust of Orodes II left, star upper right, crescent horns upward upper right; reverse fort with four towers, the two central towers taller than the two outer towers, traces of squared legend around; ex Moneta Numismatic Services; rare; $50.00 SALE |PRICE| $45.00
 




  



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REFERENCES|

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